Babies are certainly precious little creatures. That is, when it’s YOUR baby. If it’s not and you’re kept up all night by the neighbor’s baby, it doesn’t matter how cute that kid is. It’s annoying.
Even if you don’t have neighbors in close proximity, like say in the adjacent apartment, and you live in a single-family home, you may very well want to isolate the sounds of crying baby in your home for your own sanity.
After all, as new parents, you likely have those baby monitors so that you can see and hear your baby. But when you’re getting a nursery ready, you might want to give some thought to more than just what colors you’ll paint the walls and which furniture you want in there.
One thing many new parents don’t realize is how important soundproofing a baby’s room is. The reason is really twofold. You want your baby to enjoy a peaceful environment as he or she sleeps, and you definitely deserve the peace of a quiet home.
Let’s say you have friends and family come to dinner while the baby is small. Inevitably, everyone will stay after baby goes to bed. That means every little laugh you all make can disturb the little one.
And what if you already have an older child? Do you really want that child to wake up constantly when the baby wakes and have to put BOTH kids back to sleep? No, you don’t.
So, whether you’re first-timers at this parenting thing, you have an older child you don’t want to wake up 10 times at night from the crying baby, you have a home office, or you share a wall with neighbors, knowing how to soundproof a nursery is going to serve you well. The good news is that it’s not very expensive to do nor is it very difficult. In fact, with these tips, you’ll master the sound of silence impeccably, so do read on!
How to Soundproof a Baby’s Room
If you want to know how to soundproof a baby’s room, you should use all of these tips below. If you can’t do all of them, using at least some of them will make a difference.
1. Install a solid core door
Solid core doors are the best sound barrier for a room. Typically, solid core doors are used on the exterior of your home for better protection. As the name implies, they are made of solid material.
Most doors that are on the interior of any home or apartment are hollow though. A quick knock on the door will tell you whether it is solid core or hollow construction. Don’t be surprised if you hear that telltale echo though. You can replace the door if budget allows to add more hush to room. Check out my post on why you should opt for a solid core door to block sound.
If that’s not feasible, hanging a sound-absorbing blanket onto your existing nursery door and that should do the trick. Incidentally, it will also dampen other sounds like the sound of white noise (which, by the way, all new parents should know is a miracle worker in getting babies to fall asleep).
2. Soundproof the above-door air vent in the nursery
If you have any gaps and holes that connect your rooms with each other, guess what? It’s easy to transfer noises between them. You definitely don’t want to seal off an air vent completely though. Doing so will result in a lack of circulation in the room and it can also get outlandishly hot. Babies don’t like to be kept in any temperature extreme, especially hot temperatures, so don’t block it off.
Instead, make a sound maze inside the air vent. You can do this with a few pieces of plywood. This won’t soundproof the air vent, but what it will do is cause the sound to bounce off the plywood pieces as it travels on through. This lowers the sound significantly and reduces the chances that if you accidentally drop a handful of silverware in the next room that it will wake your sleeping baby.
3. Decorate the nursery and add furniture to it
An empty room is a room that echoes. Naturally by adding furnishings to your baby’s nursery, you’ll add measures of soundproofing to it. A bookshelf is a great way to take up a wall and muffle the sound. So are decorations. Stylish fabric quilts and paintings will cover much of the space. Just remember though, your baby will eventually start crawling so anything you put in there should be anchored accordingly. That goes for furniture too. You can get brackets to secure bookshelves, dressers, and other furniture to the walls so that they won’t tip over should your baby try to climb them.
Stuffed animals can also help. Large, plush stuffed animals will absorb sound. They should never be kept in the crib with your baby though as they can be a hazard for suffocation, but on those bookshelves or in the sitting area, they make for outstanding sound absorbers.
Do you rent? If you can’t make tons of changes to the space because you’ll be moving into a home of your own sooner rather than later, a large room divider curtain can also be the way to go. There are adjustable, spring-loaded curtain rods which you can put in just about any space. Find a thick curtain you like and hang it to add more quiet to the nursery.
4. Use Soundproof Art Panels
When soundproofing other spaces, like a music studio or an office, you’d want to go with soundproof foams. They can really deaden the noise. The problem is though that babies don’t like pure, deafening silence. When you use those soundproof foams, they remove white noise which isn’t a good thing when it comes to babies. Plus, it won’t look very cozy.
That’s where soundproof art panels (Amazon link) come in. You can easily find these in tons of colors and styles that will match your nursery motif. They’re easy to install and keep up. You can even clean them with ease once your little one gets into that curious phase and starts leaving smudgy fingerprints on everything.
5. Add a carpet
For homes that have hard flooring throughout, one of the best things you can do for your baby’s nursery is have carpeting laid down. This is so much better for your baby when he or she starts to crawl as it’s softer. Plus, if you have the kind of baby that figures out how to jump out of the crib eventually, you’ll be glad there’s soft ground for landing.
Not everyone can get carpeting installed though. If you rent, you don’t want to invest in it if the property isn’t yours to own, and if you own, you might not have the budget for a professional installation.
Good thing there are different sized rugs and carpets that can help with that. Just measure your space and get a rug that fits the room’s dimensions. They even make sound-deafening carpet, but if you can’t afford that, you can choose wool rugs for the best sound dampening. Tufted rug textures are better than flat-woven ones at keeping echoing down.
It will only be a matter of time before your baby starts to crawl and the cot will no longer be able to confine them.
With all the newfound energy, you will want to keep all the noise inside the room.
6. Use a Sound Dohm
Whether you’re moving soon and don’t want to waste time fixing up one place just to fix up another, or you’re all settled into your home, a Sound Dohm can be a huge helper to add soundproofing to a baby’s room. It’s a white noise machine that helps block out sounds from other rooms.
This allows your baby to sleep soundly. The National Sleep Foundation recommends white noise for when babies sleep, and even for grownups too!). The reason babies love white noise is because in the outside world, it is too quiet. Inside the womb, the sounds of a mom’s blood, organs, and inner workings makes music to a baby’s ears. In the first few months after birth, it’s often called the 4th trimester because your baby is still adjusting to this oddly quiet world. Where is all that soothing noise?
Babies will fuss much less if you use a Sound Dohm (Amazon link) or any white noise source. It will help lull them to sleep with the sounds they love without them hearing the TV down the hall.
Can’t afford to buy another gadget? If you haven’t yet had your baby shower yet, request it as a gift. It’s definitely a must-have item. And in the absence of that, you can always get an app on your tablet that will play white noise.
Do keep in mind though that you don’t want to play it too loud or too near your baby. It can damage their hearing if the decibel level is too high. Keep it on the other side of the room from your baby and adjust the level properly for maximum effectiveness without hearing damage.
7. You can double glaze the windows
City sounds are definitely problematic for new parents. If the street you live on tends to be busy, you should look into double-glazing your windows. This means you add an extra window on the existing one.
It’s more permanent of a solution but it can make a major difference in the noise level from the street below. Soundproof windows can work as well, but if there’s no way to make this upgrade, keep reading, because there are other things that can work for you if you live on a busy street.
8. Use Sound-Absorbing Curtains
If changing out the windows you have isn’t feasible, try sound-absorbing curtains. This will help dampen the traffic outside or anything else that brings noise from outside to in. These curtains are great for hushing outdoor sounds, plus they’re thick so they block out lights which is perfect for daytime naps as well as getting your baby to sleep when a bright streetlight is beaming in, or it’s still light out. Feel free to check out my complete soundproofing curtains buying guide here.
The more these curtains cover, the better they will be for inhibiting unwanted sounds. Ideally, putting them floor to ceiling and choosing thick, plush velvet material will work the best.
If you rent, you can make DIY window plugs. It’s easy to make them with basic materials and tools. You can pop them into place when it’s time for sleep and remove them for times of wakefulness.
9. Soundproof the ceiling of your baby’s nursery
Let’s say you live in an apartment building with someone above you, or you have a multi-level home and baby’s nursery is on the bottom floor. How do you quiet the noise from above?
When it comes to soundproofing, you should always apply soundproofing materials to as close to the origin of the noise as humanly possible. So, if the room above baby’s room is your home office or your older child’s room, if you soundproof the floor in that room, it can help.
But if you rent and that space is occupied by some other tenant, you can soundproof the ceiling of your baby’s room. Using soundproof foam panels on the ceiling can help. If the floor in the room above your baby’s room is bare, adding carpets will make a big difference. As mentioned in carpeting the baby’s nursery earlier, there are many options for laying down rugs or carpets.
If not, you’re at the mercy of your upstairs neighbors. You might want to try talking to them to see if they’d be willing to put down a rug in their space to dampen the sound, or if they could be mindful of their footsteps in the evening. It’s worth a try!
10. You can also use soundproof wallpaper
Wallpaper was once the most on-trend thing. Then it died out. But now it’s back again, and there’s a soundproof variety. The spongier textures of wallpaper can be helpful with deadening noise. You can even paint over them. The most stylish one I’ve seen so far is this one by Masione (Amazon link), it’s 1/3 inches thick and free from harmful metals, plus it’s waterproof which is a huge bonus, because let’s face it we all know how babies like to spill things, right? Again, this is only an option if you own your home. You don’t want to spend all that money wallpapering a place you rent.
11. EXTREME TIP: Soundproof the walls
This is a tip exclusively for those that own a home they’re remodeling or if you’re having a new home built. What you can do then is have insulation built into the walls to soundproof them. This must be done expertly to ensure there are no gaps. Any gaps let sound in which would defeat the purpose of attempting to soundproof the space. It’s more expensive, but a space that is soundproof is definitely an attractive asset in the housing market.
For a baby’s room, the insulation should be lightweight and designed for acoustics. Double-layering the drywall on any adjoining walls, like say a wall to a sibling’s room, can remedy any issues. You can also have insulation built into the flooring to create quieter spaces all around. And if you live in a busy area, splurge for those double-glazed windows. You’ll be glad you did!
Here’s how you’ll still be able to hear your baby
Before you worry that soundproofing everything will keep things so quiet in your home that you won’t hear when your baby is screaming and crying for you, relax. Baby monitors today are amazing creations. They have them with live audio and video feeds plus you can also communicate back to them. This way, you can make soothing sounds from your own bed should baby start fussing and if it’s a full-on wailing sob-fest, you can tell your baby you’re coming. This one by Infant Optics (Amazon link) offers full viewing control thanks to its pan/tilt and zoom functions not to mention the multiple lenses from wide to narrow, did I mention it has over 25000 5-star reviews on Amazon!
Why Should You Soundproof A Baby Room?
If you’re wondering why you should soundproof your baby’s room, there are so many reasons for doing it. Any parent that ever endured sleepless nights will tell you that it is the absolute way to go for your own sanity. It’s also better for your baby.
– For your baby
One of the most important reasons to soundproof a baby’s room is for your baby. Babies will cry for a good 12 different reasons. That’s because they can’t talk yet and tell you what they need. They cry and you come. It’s up to you to determine what each cry means.
After a couple weeks as a new parent, you’ll know what each cry means. They all sound different. One will indicate your baby is hungry while another will clearly be a cry about a dirty diaper. They even cry because they want to be close to you.
But if you soundproof your baby’s room, ideally before you rush off to the hospital to deliver this little bundle into the world, you’ll have everything in place for a more comfortable life for all of you. The reasons are endless in any environment. Perhaps you live on a street where it’s mostly quiet until garbage pickup days roll around. That noisy garbage truck will scare the daylights out of your baby. New windows or soundproof curtains will ensure your baby doesn’t wake up to that racket.
If you live in the city, you can’t stop the noisy traffic from passing by below. But you can add noise-dampening efforts of your own so that the sounds won’t disturb your baby. Maybe you can’t move out of there yet, but you can talk to your upstairs neighbors and ask them if they would help keep quiet with a carpet just above the baby’s room.
There are many things you can and should do when you have a baby living in your home. While babies don’t like complete silence, the most random sounds can wake them up. If you want some semblance of peace in your home, you’d be wise to enact these measures as soon as possible.
– For yourself
And speaking of peace, you deserve some too. Parents of newborns suffer on lack of sleep, but as your baby gets bigger, he or she will spread out feeding times more. Between those times though, you don’t want your baby waking up for something ridiculous, like hearing you and your partner laugh at something on TV or when you have friends gathered.
You work hard and you deserve to have fun too. Your life as you know it doesn’t end because you’ve had a baby. You’re still the same person and nurturing your needs is important. It’s not selfish… it makes you a better parent.
Even if you’re not having friends over on the weekend, any time you move around a home or apartment that isn’t soundproofed, that one creaky board could be what wakes up your baby. Do you really want to have to play “the floor is lava” with your spouse just to keep from bothering the baby every time you need to go from one room to the next? Of course, you don’t!
– For your neighbors
It was your decision to have this baby. Your neighbors might very well be nice and lovely people who are thrilled for you. But they’re not going to be thrilled at 3am when that baby is crying. If the walls are thin where you live, chances are that crying is going to seep through and wake them as if they were in the same room.
Conversely, your neighbors also have their lives to live. They can’t be expected to be quiet all the time. They may have older kids of their own, playing video games, watching loud movies, arguing with their own siblings, and even ordinary activities that might be heard through the walls.
This is why you want to soundproof. You certainly don’t want to disturb your neighbors or have them accidentally disturb your baby. Take the measures introduced above to
Most people think about soundproofing for studios or offices, but not for babies. Yet they should! So many parents get caught up in the design of the nursery and the furniture styles but they forget this one detail. Don’t forget it!
Adding soundproofing to your baby’s nursery can be simple and cheap. You don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. As you can see from above, there are many ways to add soundproofing measures to your home, whether you’re in the city or the suburbs, in your own home or in an apartment. Some ways to soundproof are simple add-ons like soundproofing curtains or noise-reduction blankets. You can add them in minutes anywhere and remove them when you’re moving.
Others like changing the windows to double-glazed or even adding insulation are more permanent. And still others like carpets can be customized to a permanent or temporary style. The overall point is adding these measures to keep random sounds from jarring your baby awake unnecessarily or disturbing you and your family (or neighboring families) with a crying baby.
When everyone is comfortable, everyone is happier and healthier. That includes baby too. A baby that feels safe and secure will still cry for other things but certainly not because some external factor is keeping them from sleep.